It was brought to my attention earlier this week by one of the many products who have planned sponsorships with Inktober/Jake Parker that there is a scandal brewing around the founder and creator of Inktober. Another artist and author, Alphonso Dunn, has accused Parker of plagiarizing his book Pen & Ink Drawing which was published in 2015 in creating his drawing book Inktober All Year Long which is due to be published this year by Chronicle Books. (New development: Chronicle Books is postponing release of the book to clear up concern about this issue).
There is a post by Teoh on Parka Blogs that sums up the situation fairly succinctly and the comments have ongoing updates and a range of opinions. While I don’t condone plagiarism, I am also weary of cancel culture. Do I think it’s possible that Parker might have seen or been influenced by Dunn’s book? Yes. Is it also possible that, as both artists share their process and techniques online, the waters have become murky as to who might have influenced who and when? Yes.
I don’t think Inktober, which has become such a great creative endeavor for so many people (myself included), should be abandoned nor do I think all the businesses who have partnered with Parker should be punished and be left with unsold Inktober merchandise this year (of all years) because the creative community wants to make a stand against plagiarism. Parker, if he was paid for his relationship with other companies, already got his cut. So, ArtSnacks and Viviva and all the other companies are the ones who will be out money if people cancel their Inktober orders now. Who is really being punished for Parker’s alleged misdeeds?
Okay, I’m hopping off my virtual soap box and getting back to the things we really enjoy, pens, inks, funny cat links (Ollie insisted on it and seriously, after the year we’ve had, cute cats are just what we need.)
- Review: Pilot FRIXION Fineliner (via Comfortable Shoes Studio)
- Sunderland Machine Works mk1 Review (via The Pen Addict)
- Baron Fig Squire Adrift Rollerball (via Gourmet Pens)
- ystudio Brassing Portable Fountain Pen Review (via The Pen Addict)
- TWSBI Diamond 580 Smoke Rose Gold II Fountain Pen Review (via The Pencilcase Blog)
- Heavy vs Light pens, what’s your poison? (via INKED HAPPINESS)
- M205 Moonstone Special Edition Demonstrator (via The Pelikan’s Perch)
- A Review of the Pineider Avatar UR Demo (via Write Experience)
- Penlux Mo Plum (via Mountain of Ink)
- Colorverse String (via Ink Sharks)
- Robert Oster Shake & Shimmer Black ‘N’ Blue (via Fountain Pen Pharmacist)
- Pelikan’s 4001 Pink To Come Bottled (via The Pelikan’s Perch)
- #1 Penknife pencil sharpening (via Bleistift)
- Apsara Long Point Sharpener Hack (via Comfortable Shoes Studio)
- Review: Steadtler essentials HB Graphite Pencils (via Comfortable Shoes Studio)
- My trials and tribulations with the Blackwing one-step long point pencil sharpener (via Write Experience)
- Muji 2B Natural Wood-cased Pencil (via Writing at Large)
Notebooks & Paper:
- Paper. Whats the Difference? What to choose? (via Pen Boutique Blog)
- How to change the world with your writing (via The Pen Company Blog)
- Happy Planner Book Bound Review (Dashboard, vertical and horizontal weekly layouts) (via All About Planners)
- PostCARDs for Democracy (via The Cramped)
- Paper So Good It Should Be Illegal? Reviewing the Blackwing “Illegal Pad” (via The Gentleman Stationer)
Art & Creativity:
- Did Jake Parker plagiarise Alphonso Dunn’s book? (via Parka Blogs)
- I changed my sketchbook again – back to Alpha (via Liz Steel)
- Polaroid’s Pocket-Sized Photo Printer Prints Images From Your Phone (via My Modern Met)
- High Contrast Up High (via Fueled by Clouds & Coffee)
- Book Review: Modern Watercolor Botanicals: A Creative Workshop in Watercolor, Gouache, & Ink (via Parka Blogs)
- A book for typography lovers: London Street Signs tells the story of the capital’s cherished nameplates (via Creative Boom)
- What Are We Waiting For? (via Modern Daily Knitting)
- How to Make the Perfect Watercolor Color Chart (via The Postman’s Knock)
- “Absence in design is very important”: Karel Martens on paying attention to the things we don’t see (via It’s Nice That)
- “What Font is That?” (via Field Notes)
- Distance Learning Tips and Tools (via JetPens Blog)
- Google Introduces New Google Career Certificates (via My Modern Met)
- Available Inc: the fake studio for unemployed creatives that could become a real thing (via It’s Nice That)
- Teachers Transform Students’ Desks into Jeeps with Plastic Shields (via My Modern Met)
Black Lives Matter:
- This Digital Archive Allows You To See George Floyd Street Art (via My Modern Met)
- Amy Sherald on Making Breonna Taylor’s Portrait (via The Casual Optimist)
- Andy Warhol on Race and Ethnicity (via Hyperallergic)
Cat-Related (because Ollie made me do it):
- Artist Challenges Herself To A 100-Day Cat Meme Drawing Challenge (via Design You Trust)
- Girl Makes PowerPoint to Convince Her Parents to Get a Cat (via My Modern Met)
- Russian Design Agency Developed Creative Package With A Funny Blue Cat Walking Between Milk Packs (via Design You Trust)
Other Interesting Things:
- Book Review: Blade Runner 2049 – Interlinked – The Art (via Parka Blogs)
- IKEA and LEGO Playful Storage Boxes For Your Home (via My Modern Met)
- RIP Chadwick Boseman: Fans are Honoring His Passing With Tribute Art (via My Modern Met)
- Marvel Pays Tribute to Chadwick Boseman (via Kottke.org)
- Biden-Harris presidential campaign targets Animal Crossing community with in-game yard signs (via It’s Nice That)
- Banksy Finances a Mediterranean Refugee Rescue Boat (via Kottke.org)
- My Shift From Analog to Digital (via Weekly Pencil)
- How To Build A Stylish Home Office (via CARRYOLOGY)
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7 comments / Add your comment below
Well said, Ana! Thank you! (And Ollie is adorable!)
There’s a bit more to Jake Parker then that; his trademark of ‘Inktober’, alienating comments over the years. I guess personally I’m just tired of it all. Artists, hobbyists, creators need unconditional encouragement, nothing less. If you’d like to read up on it all there’s a pretty informative thread via Reddit.
So agree, actually Alphonso is missing out. If he had first discussed it privately with Jake it possibly could have led to a profit share and an Alphonso credit in the new book… either way the whole thing was handled so unprofessionally. I don’t think Jake did this intentionally or had ill intent. Probably just regurgitating inking basics on what he has learned without specific memory where he first learned it. I understand how Alphonso feels but he should have reached out to Jake directly first. And then,…if he could not get resolution that way try other means.
There exists a comparison here: https://youtu.be/bG3ENcAdWBM
In my opinion as an artist, the evidence is pretty damning. I would not want to consider profit sharing with someone who outright copied my work either, regardless of the money potential. Integrity is more valuable, a concept every artist/business professional/publisher/PERSON should embrace. That is what is so infuriating about it. Calling out a thief is not cancel culture. It’s standing up for your integrity.
Why do people confused cancel culture with accountability?
The comparison in Dunn’s video visually shows nothing is actually the same. Dunn continually tells the viewer that its different or parker changed it to not be to obvious that it was copied. The work in Dunn’s book is the basic fundamentals of drawing, of course Parkers will some have similar flow, terminology, and illustration examples, teaching the material cannot work without it.
Any subject taught dictates the format and sequence of how it’s taught.
Here is a link that has over 600 examples of fundamentals. Many are very similar or the same to Dunn’s if you scroll through them.
Dunn cannot claim ownership or creation of any techniques or terminology, which he is trying to do. The layout and sequence of the books are also no where near matching either. Dunn has to jump around to try and find things he claims are copied. If it was a direct copy the info would be on the same numbered pages, it’s not. Molochs video shows how different the layouts are side by side
Here is another artist that shows that the layout, illustrations, order are not the same at all.
The themes of the books are different as well. Dunn’s is a more academic how to for drawing with ink. Parkers is based around the theme of doing Inktober with some lessons on inking and conceptualization.